Nā Ala Ea has been established with the mission to actively assert and defend the cultural traditional and intellectual property rights of the Native Hawaiian people, our Kupuna and cultural practitioners. Our goal is to protect, respect, and promote the inherent rights of Native Hawaiian people that derive from political, economic and social structures, and from our culture, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies especially our rights/kuleana to our lands, territories and resources.
October 30, 2019, Nā Ala Ea co-sponsored an event to support Paepae o He‘eia, a private non-profit organization dedicated to caring for He‘eia Fishpond located in He‘eia, Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu. During the day-long event Nā Ala Ea invited our companies to participate in a day of learning and and labor to the restoration of the fishpond.
Nā Ala Ea believes the restoration of the He‘eia Fishpond is key to the preservation of the practice of the traditional Native Hawaiian way of life. Hawaiian fishponds are unique and advanced forms of aquaculture, found nowhere else in the world, and engineered to feed entire communities. Built approximately 600-800 years ago, He‘eia Fishpond was built by hundreds, if not thousands, of committed residents who passed and stacked rocks and coral for approximately 2-3 years to complete the massive kuapā (wall) which completely encircles the fishpond. At its peak, He‘eia Fishpond produced nearly 10 tons of fish each year. Even as development encroached on the fishpond between the 1930s – 1960s, He‘eia Fishpond was still in use by local Native Hawaiians who used it to feed their families and as a community gathering place. In 1965, a devastating flood destroyed a 200+ foot portion of the kuapā and the fishpond went mostly unused for almost 25 years. Restoration efforts began in 1989 and continue today.
In keeping with the mission of Na Ala Ea our newly established annual grant program to support organizations with a wide range of initiatives that align with our mission including the following areas:
• Supporting Native Hawaiian civic engagement and advocacy education
• Developing curricula and programs based on Native Hawaiian values that foster Native Hawaiian civic participation and advocacy
• Identifying issues and solution finding on the political, economic, and social welfare of Native Hawaiian communities
• Capacity-building for organizations that are missionally aligned with NAE
Support and facilitate the Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs
Bring on an Executive Director to facilitate grants throughout the Native Hawaiian Community
Establish educational goals for Native Hawaiian civic participation in their communities
Identify issues impacting the welfare of the Native Hawaiian people